Thursday, May 28, 2009

Technology Independant

So I am really trying hard to be better at writing more frequently because I am still hoping that one day I will actually get money for having these ads on my blog page. I don't know if that day will ever come, but I can dream right? (I originally did it so that I could pay for my internet service...yea, that didn't work out so well). Apparently you have to make a certain amount before they will send a check.

Anyways, I have really been thinking about my wierd repulsion to technology. Not all technology (I love having a computer for blogging, banking, online shopping, emailing, and looking up talks, recipes, ideas, etc...) BUT I have some wierd thing against GPS systems. I think it all started back about 4 years ago. My parents sent Cory and I some money for Christmas (like $200). I really wanted to take my portion of it, $190 (just kidding, I'm not that mean), and go buy some clothes. Well, Cory thought that it would be a better idea to take the whole amount and buy a GPS system. Never in a million years would I have agreed to that, but if anyone could sell me on it, it would be my darling husband. He did a really good sales job and made me feel like I just had to have this stupid thing. (I have since learned when he is trying to sell me and I don't fall for it so easily). Long story short...I never used it and I think that subconsciously I became bitter (okay not really, but maybe a little).

Let me explain, but first of all just know that the GPS system sits in my van 24/7 and that I have a GPS on my phone....

A couple of months ago, my sister came to visit me while I lived in Asheville. I drove to Raleigh to pick her up from the airport and on the way home I got lost. What did I do? I forged on ahead because I knew that I'd figure it out sooner or later. We contemplated calling my Dad and I think Andrea even pulled out the GPS, but there was no need, I figured it out.

Fast forward a month later in Tennessee. I was driving to Sams for the first time. I thought I could figure out how to get there based off of a broad description my friend had given me. After driving on the freeway for a little while I came to a sign that said, "Welcome to Georgia". So, what did I do? I called Cory (about 20 times). He didn't answer. I called my friend Celeste (about 20 times). She didn't answer. I figured it out and turned a 20 minute drive into about an hour.

My mom came a couple of weeks ago and we decided to explore downtown. I thought I could figure it out. Nope. So we called my Dad in Texas and he gave us better directions than a GPS ever could have. I don't know how he did it. He's pretty amazing at things like that...or maybe he just uses his GPS.

My mom and I drove to Columbia, SC. I printed directions off the internet. We got lost finding the hotel. My mom finally MADE me use the GPS on my phone. And, wow, it actually got us there and it was pretty easy to use.

Have I used it since? Nope.

Also, my cell phone. After having many members of my family complain because my phone was always dead (no names....Amber, Sherrie, Cory, Andrea, Mom) I decided to be better. But I still hate the fact that anyone can get a hold of me at anytime. So, there are certain times when I just refuse to take it with me because for some reason I just feel so much independance and freedom knowing that I cannot be reached at any second of the day and that I can find my way when I'm lost without some lady telling me where I should turn or u turn.

Whew. It feels so good to declare my independance.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Photo Session with Daddy


Okay, I really want to make my blog with 3 columns. I have tried this before and it was a disaster!!! It took me forever to get it back to normal. Does anyone have any tips that would help somebody as incompetent as myself? Or, Andrea, I'll give you my password and you could do it for me???? That's what big sisters are for right?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

We spent our Memorial Day going on a family bike ride (it was about 4 miles long and took us about 3 hours....but that includes stopping for a picnic, throwing rocks in the river, and the fact that it was Katelund's first bike ride without training wheels). Afterwards, the girls played at the park while Cory and I played a very intense version of hopscotch...I'm not being was some super crazy hopscotch. Then we played on the train cars that they have at the park and took some fun pictures. After a long fun day, we just had to top it off with some McDonald ice cream cones (thanks Andrea for making me crave them). :)

Dancing in the train car.
Riding on the caboose.

Exhausted after our bike ride.

Thanks to all those who have and who still do fight so courageously for our freedom and others' freedom.
Thanks to all the men and women throughout the ages who have sacrificed their lives in order to stand up for truth and righteousness.
And, thanks to all those who continue to valiantly fight and defend the family and marriage.
God bless America, the home of the brave.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

One More Day...

the end of Kindergarten
the beginning of Kindergarten

My dearest Katelund,
One more day of waking up before 7:30 am,
One more day of packing a lunch,
One more day of trying to pick out an outfit that we agree upon,
One more day of shoving breakfast down you,
One more day of me forcing you to do your homework while your eating your breakfast because what Kindergarten teacher assigns homework on the weekend anyways??,
One more day of not being allowed to wear flip flops,
One more day of Cloey asking me all day long if it is time to pick you up at the bus stop,
One more day of walking down to the bus stop and then climbing back up the mountain to go home (it is such a steep hill),
One more day.....well at least for 2 1/2 months.....but it literally is the LAST day that you will ever be in Kindergarten.
You have grown so much over the last nine months. You have turned into a confident little girl who sings Hannah Montana songs at the dinner table, who reads books to her little sister, and who unloads the silverware in the dishwasher without being asked. A little girl who doesn't need her mommy to constantly remind her to brush her teeth or say her prayers. I am no longer with you every moment of the day and you are okay with that, even when I am not.
You have learned so much over the last year. You have learned how to make friends. You have learned that it is okay to be different from other people. You have learned how to say goodbye to old friends and then make new ones. You have learned that death is not the end and that our family can be together forever. You learned how to be strong when Mommy was not. You have learned that although sometimes you have bad days, you will always have a mommy and daddy and sister who will wrap you in their arms when you get home and tell you that tomorrow will be better. You have learned how to be strong, brave, bold, kind, and considerate. You have learned how to be nice even when others are not, and how to be happy no matter where you are or what you are doing. But even though you have grown up and will soon be a big first grader, always remember that "I'll love you forever, like you for always, and as long as I'm living my baby you'll be".

Love Always and Forever,

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Katelund's Homework Assignment

Katelund's homework assignment the other day was to write about and draw a picture of her best friend. I got out the crayons and paper and then left her to do it on her own. Then she came and showed me the above picture a little while later. If you can't read it, it says, "My best friend is sister. She is fun to play with."

{ETA: Right now the "best friends" are downstairs fighting as if they were mortal enemies because they both want the barbie with the capris.}

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Plan of Salvation and President Bush

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a stake fireside where Steven Covey spoke. There were so many good things that he said and some great ideas and suggestions, but there was one thing that he said that has really stuck with me.

He was asked to go to the White House and help with the transitioning between President Bush and President Obama. While he was there, he had an hour alone with President Bush in his office. He told Pres. Bush how grateful he was for his example of faith and His love for God. President Bush thanked him and then told him that there was one question that he had that had weighed very heavily on his mind for some time. He wondered what happens to all of those people around the world who never have the chance to hear or learn about Jesus Christ and His redemptive powers. Steven Covey then spent the rest of the hour teaching him about the Plan of Salvation and the work that is performed in temples. He said that during this conversation he realized why Bush may have been in favor of starting the war in Iraq, because he knew that without freedom and Democracy, they might not ever have a chance to learn of Jesus Christ. He then said that before he left, after he had finished explaining our beliefs as members of the LDS church, that President Bush, all teary-eyed, stood up, hugged him, and sincerely thanked him for sharing his beliefs.

There are a lot of people out there who say a lot of bad things about Pres. Bush. Who criticize every word mispoken. I'm sure he made mistakes, just as EVERYONE on this earth does, but he also made many good decisions. I am so thankful that such a man was chosen to lead our country. A man who understands what it means to love God and love his neighbor.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

WARNING: This may be way too personal...but I just have to vent

Today we took a family trip to Walmart to get some needed items. As we started walking down the aisles I started to realize that I probably should have changed my tampon before I left for the store. I got a quarter and ran to the bathroom to buy a "feminine product" from the machine in the bathroom. It took the quarter but nothing came out. Since I was in such a hurry, I had run off without a phone or wallet and I did not want to have to go searching for Cory through the endless aisles of chaos. So, I ran to the tampon aisle and then ran back to the bathroom. But not before I explained to one of the workers that the machine had taken my quarter and I needed a tampon right now so I was going to open up the box, take one out, leave the box with her, take care of my EMERGENCY and then go find my husband so that I could pay for the box. I really thought that she would think that this was a good plan, especially since I was in such a desperate situation. But, NO. She would not even think about doing something like that. I was shocked. I didn't know what to do and I was almost in tears (remember, I am a little more emotional right now due to the fact that I am on my period). Anyways, she was not giving in so I frantically ran around the store trying to find Cory. Luckily I found him relatively quickly and was able to save myself from being completely MORTIFIED.

The more I think about this whole scenario, the madder I get (remember...all my emotions are intensified this week). I know that there are people out there who are dishonest, but what about those of us who are honest??? Am I completely irrational for thinking that someone could trust a desperate woman who is in a difficult situation? What is wrong with this world? Just because there are dishonest people out there, I don't think that takes away our responsiblity to be decent human beings who have empathy for others. Maybe just last week she had some other woman say the same thing and then never returned. But really if you think about it (obviously I am thinking WAY too much about this) the box of tampons was less than $6 for 40. So they would've been less than 15 cents each and I had lost 25 cents in their machine. So actually, I had almost paid for 2 of them!

I really need to let this go...but first I just had to vent. I feel much better (although I think I just might write a letter to Walmart). On the other hand, this story may be a little too personal, which means it is probably way to personal to be posting on the internet. LOL. : )

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Photo Tour of Our Tennessee Home

Here's where we live now.
This is a view of our house from up the street a little.
I couldn't resist. How sweet are they?
front entry--leading to library on the left and basement door on the right.
Master Bath
Front Door
Our bedroom. I had to put this picture in here b/c I LOVE these cute wall hangings that my sister made me.
Master Bedroom- it's a pretty small bedroom so it was hard to get a good shot of it.
Girls Bathroom
Guest Bedroom (we actually changed this around. We moved the furniture to one of the rooms in the basement so that the guest room can be a little more secluded. So this room is now a "study/playroom". I need to change the wall color b/c it is just not me, but I do love the windows.
Girls Bedroom
Girls Bedroom
Library. I have wanted a library in my house so badly!!! We put our living room, with a couch, recliners and tv, downstairs in the huge rec room.
Kitchen. I L.O.V.E. all the space and cabinets in here!

I haven't taken any pictures of the basement yet. I was still working on unpacking down there when I took these pictures. We feel so blessed to be in this home. It is just perfect for us and for more kids to come....AND we have room for guests, so please come visit us!!!!!

We have lived in many different apartments, condos, and townhouses in our day, and now after almost 9 years of marriage, we are finally in a house. As wonderful as it is, I have come to the realization that it doesn't really matter how small or big your house is. You can make anything beautiful and you can make anywhere a home.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Honoring Women

Wow. What a week. It all started last Tuesday when my mom flew in. Then that night I went to a youth fireside where we got to hear Steven Covey speak. It was amazing. Of course it is always fun to have Grandma in town, but the week got even better when me and my mom left for a mother/daughter weekend. We drove 5 1/2 hours to Columbia, SC in order to go to the temple and then go to Time Out for Women on Friday night and Saturday. The speakers were INCREDIBLE and the music was OUTSTANDING!!!! After we checked into our hotel on Friday night, I said good night to my mom ( it was like 10 pm) and then I ran downstairs to go have a girls night with some of my very favorite people (pictured above). We laughed way too hard and stayed up WAY too late (or early if you get real technical) :).
These are all of the girls who went to Time Out for Women from our area (well my old area...sob, sob, sob). I love each one of these sisters so much. They have made such a powerful impact on my life.
Me and the most beautiful woman in the world.
On Thursday, me, my mom, and Cloey (Kate was in school) went downtown and had some fun in the fountains, on the carousel, and walking across the bridge over the beautiful Tennessee River.
I felt so blessed to have my mom with me on Mother's Day. As we walked into church together, I felt so proud to call her my mom. Not only is she beautiful, she is also one of the most tender and Christ-like woman I know. For the last couple of years, my mom has attended the temple once a week. I have noticed a change take place within her. She is more sensitive to the Spirit, more loving to others, more humble, more gentle, and more prayerful. I am so thankful for her incredible example. I feel just as the Stripling Warriors felt, I do not doubt because my mother knows it. She is a woman of faith, virtue, and integrity. I love her so much and I honor her as my mother, my children's grandmother, and my friend.

There are so many mothers that I honor as well. One of those is my grandmother. This last year has been a very difficult one for her because my grandfather passed away. Although she has had to deal with the grief, loneliness, and trials that come along with losing a spouse, she has also been so strong. Her testimony in the plan of salvation, faith in a loving Heavenly Father, and hope in the eternities to come with the love of her life, has been an anchor that has withstood the storm of adversity. I love her with all of my heart.

The other women that I honor are those who have felt the loneliness and despair of bareness, the agony and grief of loss, the heartache of covenants broken, the disappointment of wayward children, the fear of never finding true love, or the pain of robbed virtue. Although each of our trials and struggles come in different packages, we are all loved deeply by One who has felt each of our pains and disappointments. Through Him, we can overcome. We can stand tall as women of virtue and faith as we follow in the footsteps of the great women who have gone before us and those who stand all around us.

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